In Light Resolution, Artist Alludes to Nigeria’s Power Failure, Culture 

Yinka Olatunbosun

Sponsored by Legacy Empire Gallery, an exhibition of paintings by the emerging artist Akeem Adeleke titled ‘Light Resolution’ had rekindled conversations around the power situation in Nigeria. The show which opened on Sunday November 20 attracted fresh art lovers, artists as well as art enthusiasts to the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos.

Adeleke who studied fine art at the Federal College of Education, Osiele Abeokuta had always envisioned a Nigeria where electricity would be constant. For him, Nigeria is a burgeoning hub of technology and power failure can weaken the potential of an individual to be productive. Through his body of works, he would manifest his expectations for his nation.

“I believe that our thoughts are our future,’’ he began. “The great optimism for Nigeria is a dream that I hope will come true in the near future. This is my own visual projection for Nigeria based on my dream for the country. I have been painting for this purpose. There is a relationship between what we think and what happens to us. If you think about something, you must also work towards it.’’

Painting from imagination and reality, Adeleke would sometimes capture scenery from a bird’s eye view. His drone-like mindset has resulted into some fascinating landscape pieces at the show. As a young schoolboy, Adeleke showed an exceptional talent in art right from his secondary school days. While he was enrolled at the Comprehensive High School, Ayetoro, his knowledge of the arts deepened.

“We had three teachers for fine arts in the school. All three of them taught me art before I went to Federal college of education at Osiele Abeokuta and graduated in 2004. I majored in painting and graphics,’’ he recounted.

To deliver this second solo exhibition, he started working on the body of works in September, last year. With 17 paintings at the show, he rekindled his interest in bridging cultural elements with his artistic expressions. 

For instance, in the piece titled, “We are All Racing,’’ he explored the visuals of the Durbar Festival as a metaphor for the race of life. According to the artist, all humans are in a constant race through life. Hence, the horses in his paintings serve as symbolism for the strength of the runner.

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